Villain Overview

Thank you for musing aloud that you are a mutant, girl! Dr. Karl Lykos thanks you...and so does...Sauron!!
~ Sauron

Karl Lykos, otherwise known as Sauron. is a supervillain from Marvel comics and an enemy of the X-Men.


Karl was the son of an adventurer, and on one expedition they traveled to Tierra del Fuego near the Antarctic Circle. On the trip Karl was attacked by giant pteranodons who had migrated there from the Savage Land, and was bitten by them. He survived, but somehow his genetic structure was altered, and he started craving the life-force of living things. He needed it to survive. At first Karl kept his power a secret, but he still needed to use it in order to live, and he sapped the energy from human beings, making sure not to kill them. Later, he became a doctor and hypnotherapist, and created a device that would transfer his patients life-force to himself.

After a battle between the X-men and the Sentinels, the mutant hero Havok nearly killed himself when unleashing his full powers, and was buried in rubble. The X-men brought him Dr. Lykos, thinking him to be the only doctor they could trust with Havok being a mutant. Later, when Lykos drained Havok's life-force into himself, the mutant's energy mutated Karl into a monstrous, half-pteranodon, half-human creature. He still retained his intelligence, but his personality was changed, and he became evil. He named himself after the archvillain of the Lord of the Rings series, Sauron, and went on a rampage, which forced the X-men to fight him.

Over time, Lykos continued to transform back and forth between his two forms, and he eventually journeyed to the Savage Land, where he stayed, growing more and more animalistic. He eventually came back to New York City, and ended up in the hands of the Weapon X program, who made him one of their agents. He continued to seek out victims to feed his hunger, particularly mutants, whose power makes him stronger.

In other media

Sauron appeared in  X-Men: The Animated Series. This version of Sauron did not possess the fire breath or sonic scream of his comic book counterpart. Also, Lykos was apparently an inhabitant of the Savage Land, as he knew and was friendly with Ka-Zar. Lykos was the victim of Mister Sinister's experiments, forced to feed on energy and transformed into Sauron upon mutant contact. Sauron aided Mister Sinister in his efforts to destroy the X-Men. He later attempted to conquer the Savage Land for himself, but was ultimately defeated. With no mutants left in the Savage Land, Lykos was free to live in peace and welcomed into Ka-Zar's tribe.

Sauron appears in the Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. episode "Savage Land".

Sauron makes a cameo while crossing a bridge in the first level of the original X-Men game for the Sega Genesis.

Sauron makes a small appearance in the Savage Land arena in X-Men: Next Dimension.

Sauron appears as a boss in X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse.

Sauron makes an extremely brief appearance on a TV screen in Ultimate Spider-Man.

Sauron appears as a boss character in Marvel Heroes.

Powers and Abilities

In his human form Karl Lykos is a fairly typical doctor, except he keeps his ability to absorb the life forces of other living things to sustain himself. If he absorbs the life force of a mutant this will trigger his transformation into his pterodactyl form and also he will absorb a portion of their powers temporarily. Due to manipulation by the Weapon X program, Sauron can expel the life force energy in concussive bursts from his hands.

In the pterodactyl form he is superhumanly strong and possesses the ability to fly at a natural winged flight limit. In battle Sauron has several additional weapons; a lethal beak and sharp talons on his hands and feet.

He also has an amplified hypnotic ability when he is in his pterodactyl form, that requires direct eye contact to complete. He frequently uses his hypnotic power to give his victims terrifying delusions that allies have become monsters.


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X-Men: Brotherhood of Mutants (Magneto, Mystique, Sabretooth & Toad) | Pyro
X2: William Stryker Jr. | Lady Deathstrike | Jason Stryker | Brotherhood of Mutants (Magneto, Mystique & Pyro)
X-Men: The Last Stand: Brotherhood of Mutants (Magneto, Dark Phoenix, Pyro, Juggernaut, Multiple Man & Mystique) | Omega Gang (Callisto, Psylocke, Quill, Arclight, Avalanche, Spike, Glob Herman & Phat) | Archangel
X-Men: First Class: Hellfire Club (Sebastian Shaw, Emma Frost, Azazel, Angel Salvadore & Riptide) | William Stryker Sr. | Magneto | Mystique
X-Men: Days of Future Past: Trask Industries (Bolivar Trask, William Stryker Jr. & Sentinels) | Magneto | Mystique | Toad | Horsemen of Apocalypse (Apocalypse)
X-Men: Apocalypse: Ashir En Sabah Nur/Horsemen of Apocalypse (Apocalypse, Magneto, Psylocke & Archangel) | Dark Phoenix | Mystique | William Stryker Jr.
X-Men: Dark Phoenix: Dark Phoenix | D'Bari (Vuk & Jones) | Brotherhood of Mutants (Magneto & Selene Gallio) | Mystique
The New Mutants: Essex Corp (Cecilia Reyes) | Demon Bear | Reverend Craig | Smiley Men

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X-Men: Evolution: Magneto | Brotherhood of Mutants (Mystique, Avalanche, Toad, Blob, Quicksilver & Scarlet Witch) | Pyro | Mastermind | HYDRA (Madame Viper & Omega Red) | David Haller | Juggernaut | Bolivar Trask | Sentinels | Apocalypse | Horsemen of Apocalypse | Mesmero | Destiny
Wolverine and the X-Men: Brotherhood of Mutants (Magneto, Mystique, Scarlet Witch, Juggernaut, Quicksilver, Avalanche, Blob, Pyro & Toad) | Dark Phoenix | Bolivar Trask | Sentinels | Sabretooth | Mutant Response Division (Colonel Moss) | Shadow King | Hellfire Club (Sebastian Shaw, Donald Pierce, Harry Leland, Selene Gallio, Emma Frost & Stepford Cuckoos) | Master Mold | Silver Samurai

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